Everybody understands the importance of electrical inspections for safety and to assure your system works correctly. New houses are built to code and wired by a licensed electrician whose work is then reviewed by an inspector who works for the city or county to assure everything is constructed properly. As an integral aspect of the house which can cause headaches at best or fires at worst, it never hurts to have a third inspection conducted independently by a private inspector before finalizing the purchase. With older houses, With older houses, it becomes especially important to have the electric system inspected by a professional not just before the closing but on an ongoing basis to assure the system is properly maintained for the needs you and your family put on it.
Grandfather Clause and Modern Code
Older houses can get away with electric systems which aren't up to modern building codes, and often the older system is sufficient. A qualified professional knows what to look for as experience has taught which older systems are appropriate for modern appliances and which tend to cause problems. Modern code takes such concepts under consideration and demands more stringent standards to assure your safety and possibly the safety of your neighbors. Not all wiring is equal and a professional understands just because a wire is there doesn't mean it is capable of carrying a electric load.
Why Modern Standards Are Important
Modern standards take into consideration new technologies and the improved systems developed with better knowledge of how electricity works. Further, modern codes account for the fact more appliances are used in a modern home than were in place 50 years ago. With televisions in every room, numerous electronics plugged in for charging, a second refrigerator in the basement, and possibly an apartment for elderly parents or grown children, modern houses use more electricity than the houses of long ago.
When to Distinguish Between the Two
It becomes important to understand the differences between modern and older codes when performing renovations. Assuming the older system is okay to use, it still needs to be replaced as work is conducted on the house. If you're building an addition or simply upgrading the bathroom on a newer house, you can likely use the electric systems already in place. With an older home, you'll need to plan on installing a new system in accordance with modern code standards as part of the remodeling job.